Magician Space is pleased to present the debut solo exhibition in Beijing with Paris-based artist Yao Qingmei. Yao’s practice traverses the boundary between performed action and its mode of display, frequently enacting interventions in public spaces to perturb the parameters of reality and its surroundings. Her art is deep rooted in a critical reflection into the formulation of political and social questions, often with a particular attention made to how symbolic gestures gain or lose traction by employing methods of appropriation and displacement into different contexts. Offering nuanced methods of resistance, her theatrical performances and interventions find form in areas overlapping burlesque techniques of satire and parody, which combine with framing devices influenced by theatre sets and costume, pedagogical lectures, and choreography inspired by modern dance.
Her first solo exhibition features an immersive installation of recent work comprising sculpture, digital photographs, video projections, and a publication text. Layering absurdist gestures with poetic action, Yao intervenes with scenarios drawn from our everyday to question authoritative power structures and accepted notions of reality. With this exhibition, Yao further elaborates on past performances in an installation series of “performance records”. With this approach the artist seeks to recreate qualities of immediacy, unpredictability, and the ephemerality of performance art, emphasizing these performance records as autonomous new forms in themselves. Carefully sustaining a level of ambiguity, Yao conveys a fragmentary approach to the act of recording, combining dramaturgical elements drawn from the language of fiction to further heighten the difference and interchange between the original performances.